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Google Street View Testing New 360-Degree Camera

Google is piloting a new camera from NCTech for Street View capture.

Google Streetview is an invaluable tool for many people, and Google are always wanting to improve the product relied upon by so many people. As such, Google are set to trial a new 360-degree imaging camera to capture updated footage for Street View.

The camera is produced by NCTech and is designed to be mounted on any kind of vehicle for a 360 x 300 field of view, capturing data at five frames per second to be sent to the Street View platform. The camera is due to be trailed by Google in three countries. Early details of the camera were revealed at the Google Street View Summit in Tokyo, and manufacturers NCTech believe a commercial version of the camera will be available by Q4 of 2017.

“We are keen to explore technologies that can help increase the volume and frequency of data uploaded to Street View,” said Charles Armstrong, Street View Product Manager at Google. “NCTech is a truly pioneering company – they continue to set the bar in spatial reconstruction by blending futuristic tech with accessible design and price points, and we look forward to seeing the results of our pilot with their new camera.”

“We’re delighted that Google will pilot our new camera in support of its Street View offering,” said Camerson Ure, CEO, NCTech. “With this new camera, we aim to enable a further wave of expansion in digitising the planet with the goal of increasing the 10 million miles per year currently available online, to one billion miles per year.”

Another NCTech product announced at the Summit was a Street View compatible virtual reality (VR) camera. The VRC camera was designed for the consumer market for capturing interior places in 360-degrees to let users explore VR at low cost.

“The VRC is the first affordable consumer Virtual Reality Camera. It will help democratise virtual reality by making the capture of user generated 3D VR content easy and abundant,” said Neil Tocher, NCTech’s CTO, “The VRC’s Street View API compatibility now enables anyone to be able to share their virtualized places on Street View.”

VRFocus will bring you further news on new VR/360-degree products as it becomes available.

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